Field Trip to Ring Mountain

Date: 4/19/2018

Location: Ring Mountain, Tiburon– Latitude/Longitude 37.9099° N, 122.4858° W, Elevation 604 ft.

Site Description:

Ring Mountain is full of grassy slopes, large rock structures and serpentine soil. It is a small preserve close to a residential area, but offers a diverse amount of wildflowers. When you first enter, the hills climb upward and then split off into different trails. The trail ranged from dry and flat, rocky, to muddy. California bay trees, live and coast oaks, q-tips, and a plethora of tidy tips were prevalent. Near the top, beautiful views of the bay area can be seen.

Species Description:

Carduus pycnocephalus
“Italian thistle”

Pictured above is the Carduus pycnocephalus, also known as the Italian thistle. It is part of the Asteraceae family and is a non-native species. It is an annual, biennial herb and has an erect stem. It has a simple, alternate, basal and cauline leaf. It has narrow, spiny dentations and is pinnately lobed. It is quite spikey, and does hurt to touch. Its inflorescence has about 2 heads per cluster, is sessile and short peduncled. The flower is bisexual and has a purple corolla. It has a short anther base, and short linear lobes. It is typically found in roadsides, pastures and disturbed areas.

Achillea millefolium

Pictured above is Achillea millefolium, also known as Yarrow. It is part of the Asteraceae family and is a California native. Perennial herb, with umbel like shape, but not coming from one point. Its inflorescence many small white flowers in flat topped clusters. It has feather like dissected leaves, almost fern like. The leaves are pinnately dissected, basal and cauline, and alternate. They are generally found near the coast.


Linum bienne

Pictured above is the Linum bienne, also known as Flax. It is part of the Linaceae family and is a not a California native. It is an annual, perennial herb. Its leaves are alternate, sessile, glaborous. Leaves are hard to see because they are pressed against stem. The flower has 5 free petals with purple lines pointed towards the center and green sepals. It is typically found in temperate areas.


We left school around 12:45 pm to Ring Mountain in Tiburon. The weather was in the low 70’s/ high 60’s, slightly windy. The area we were hiking was near a very nice neighborhood and we were able to overlook some amazing houses. As we hiked further up the trail, views of the bay area could be seen all around, including a shot of San Quentin prison. It was a beautiful hike with lots of species we had previously seen before. I realized how many species we knew of at this point in the class and it was amazing how much ground we had covered in the course.

Field Trip to Carson Falls

Date: 4/12/18

Location: Carson Falls, Bolinas CA  Latitude: 37.963486 Longitude: –122.624888. elevation: 880 Ft.

Site Description:

Just north of Mount Tamalpais, Carson Falls has a rugged, serpentine terrain and a balance of chaparral and grassland areas. The areas with more tree cover have an increased incline, with a great deal of serpentine soil and scrub brush. Native species such as Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus were present. There was a heavy presence of oak trees, manzanitas, and maples. Towards the end of the hike is a beautiful waterfall and the terrain gets more slippery from the high serpentine presence. A great deal of poison oak present.


Species Description:

Maianthemum stellatum
“Starry false lily of the valley”

Pictured above is Mainthemum stellatum also known as the “Starry false lily of the valley.” It is a California native that is part of the Ruscaceae family. It is a perrenial herb, with an erect, glabrous stem. Its leaves are alternate, elliptic, glabrous. Its inflorescence is racem with little white flower. Perianth parts 4 or 6 in 2 petal like whorls. It is typically found in moist, woodland, temperate areas. We found this one towards the end of our hike on our way back in a more wooded area.


Iris douglasiana
“Douglas iris”

Pictured above is the Iris douglasiana, also known as the “Douglas iris.” It is a California native part of the Iridaceae family. It is a perennial herb, with an erect, rounded stem. Its leaves are general basal, sword shaped. Inflorescence has complicated parts of 3 flowers. Bisexual, radial, with sepals generally wider than petals. Petals are erect and stamens are free, ovary inferior. It is generally found in temperate, grassland areas.

Calystegia purpurata
“Smooth western morning glory”

Pictured above is the Calystegia purpurata, also known as the “Smooth western morning glory.” It is a California native that is part of the Convolvulaceae. It is a bisexual, perennial herb with a climbing stem. Its leaves are triangular, lobes spreading, alternate (v-shaped). The flower has a glabrous , bell shaped white corolla, one ovary chamber, 1 style, 2 stigmas, 5 stamens. It is typically found in temperate climates.


This was a beautiful and scenic hike. We left school around 12:45 pm, and the temperature was in the high 60’s and a bit windy. When we arrived the weather was actually nice and sunny. The hike was difficult at some points, but it was so beautiful that it was definitely worth it! The waterfall was definitely the best part of the hike and the pictures do not do it justice. This hike we spent time discussing new species and reviewing some of the old.




Field Trip to Edgewood Park

Date: 4/5/18

Location: Edgewood Park, Redwood city: 37.4732° N, 122.2782° W, elevation 225 t0 800 ft.

Site Description:

Edgewood park is located in the San Francisco peninsula with great views of the bay. It is a serpentine grassland and chaparral area with an abundance of live oaks, rolling hills, blossoming flowers and a noticeably large amount of poison oak. There is a great deal of shrub growth and the hiking area can be described as an easy to hike and well maintained trail. There is a great balance of wooded/shaded moist areas and open sunny areas.

Species Descriptions:

Wyethia angustifolia
“Narrow leaved mule ears”

Pictured above is the species Wyethia angustifolia, also known as Narrow leaved mule ears. This plant is part of the Asteraceae family and is a California native. It is a perennial herb, with a generally erect and hairy stem. It has basal and cauline leaves, alternate, oblanceolate and hairy leaves. It is bisexual and bilateral It has one large inflorescence, ray flower is yellow with fused corolla. Anthers are yellow, brown and petals have a leaf-like linear look to them. They are typically found in grassland areas, and this one was found in the hilly/open areas of Edgewood park, closer to the freeway.

Delphinium variegatum
“Royal Larkspur”

Pictured above is the Delphinium variegatum which is known as the “Royal larkspur.” It is part of the Ranunculaceae family, and is a California native. It is a perennial herb, with an erect, generally unbranched stem with a hairy base. Its leaves are simple, basal and cauline, petioled, and palmately lobed. Its flowers are bilateral with 5 sepals, and 4 spreading petals. Uppermost sepal has nectar secreting spurs enclosed. The petals are generally dark blue and hairy. They are toxic and found in northern temperate areas.

Layia platyglossa
“Tidy tips”

Pictured above is Layia platyglossa, which is also known as Tidy Tips. It is part of the Asteraceae family and is a California native. It is an annual, and it has a generally ascending to erect stem, with its leaves being opposite or basal rosette, cauline being opposite, sessile. The disk flower is yellow with a white outline. They are very common in northern California, and they typically begin to flower in February, so we were able to see them just in time.


We left school at 12:45 and headed to Edgewood Park. It was a little bit over-cast when we left, weather in the low 60’s. I had been to Edgewood park before because I had previously attended a college just an exit over called Cañada college, so I was familiar with the area. It’s a pretty easy hike, not too rigorous and has a nice view over-looking the bay area. On our trip we spend a lot of time going over smaller species and spent time looking at them very closely. These ones can be particularly hard to identify because they are so small, so it gave us some practice.


San Bruno State Park Field Trip!

Date: 3/22/18

Location: San Bruno, CA , 37.6969° N, 122.4338° W, elevation 1314 ft.

Site Description:

San Bruno State Park is picturesque with a view of the SF bay area. The area is mostly bedrock and contains diverse micro-environments of coastal scrub and grassland communities. Species such as the Pacific manzanita, Montara manzanita, San Bruno Mountain Manzanita and the Franciscan wallflower are abundant here.


Species Descriptions:


Sanicula arctopoides “Yellow mats”

Pictured above is the species Sanicula arctopoides, also known as “Yellow mats.” They are part of the Apiaceae family and are a California native. It is a perennial to annual herb, with simple, generally alternate, palmately dissected leaves that are coarsely toothed. Stem is generally spreading to erect. Peduncle inflorescence with yellow bisexual flowers. Calyx lobes fused proximal to middle, yellow corolla. Typically found in temperate climates, coastal areas and headlands.

Erysimum franciscanum “Franciscan wallflower”

Pictured above is the species Erysimum franciscanum, which is the “Franciscan wallflower.” It is part of the Brassicaceae family and is a rare California native. It is a subshrub and has a weedy leaf like look with woody stem. It has a basal rosette, dentated, entire, oblanceolate leaves. It has free white petals, and the flowers form a tube that become free at the end. Six stamens, 4 long and 2 short. Typically found in Mediterranean climates, serpentine soils and coastal scrub areas.

Lobularia maritima “Sweet asylum”

Pictured above is Lobularia maritima, which is also known as “Sweet asylum.” This is apart of the Brassicaceae family and is an invasive species. It is annual, perennial herb, with simple/alternate leaves. It is entire, not lobed at base. Flowers are bisexual, radial, with 4 sepals and 4 petals. They are generally white or purple. 6 stamen, 4 long and 2 short. Stem is erect and branched from base. These flowers are typically found in disturbed areas.


This was one of my favorite field trips because we got to go to InnOut after. We first went up higher in the trails to go over some plants and review before our field quiz. We spent a great deal of time looking at plants that we had seen before and adding in a handful that were new. It was definitely helpful to note which ones would be on the quiz, and it helped me to see which plants I knew and which ones I had a hard time with. We briefly scouted plants in a more grassy area near the bottom of the park. After our hard work, we went to In n out and got to feast as a class!